Tuesday, June 12, 2012

James Leonard - What army unit was he in?

After the First World War started in August 1914 James Leonard apparently came to St Albans for training and in October was joined by his very pregnant girlfriend and they married a few days after the birth of the child. It is almost certain that he was in the 2nd London Division (Territorial Force) and went to France in March 1915. I have suggested to Bob, who wrote from Canada, several places where additional information about his unit might be obtained. See James LEONARD or LENNARD, St Albans, 1914/5

Subsequent emails have provided more information about James and his first wife - and it would seem that James was almost certainly in the 4th City of London Fusiliers Battalion - in the 1st London Division - and so would not have been posted to St Albans. He may only have come to St Albans to marry Wilhemina Degerlund (whose father came from Finland).


  1. There is a medal card for James Leonard No. 2520 London Regiment 4th Bn. Enlistment 4.9.14 Discharge 4.9.16 as sick (Para from KR cited). He had applied for a badge (presumably the Silver War Badge) from 27 Radnor Street, St Luke's E.C.1. This gives 2 years of service rather than 3 but he may have reƫnlisted in 1914. I cannot find service or pension records. As her name suggests, Wilhelmina Gladys Degerlund had a Swedish father (born Finland). The second marriage in 1929 was to Florence Ivy Clarke. She is named as his widow in the National Probate Calendar. Date of death was 28 March 1949. Anthony

  2. There is a service record for No. 2520 James Leonard on Ancestry although mistranscribed. It shows, firstly, that he had no previous service and, secondly, next of kin as Father Joseph Leonard of 27 Radnor Street. So Right Name, Wrong Body. Anthony


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